93 episodes

Silicon Valley has a solution for everything, but who do its ideas really serve? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview it spreads. They challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by showing that separating tech from politics has consequences for us all, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing tech down; it also presents radical ideas for tech designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.

Tech Won't Save Us Paris Marx

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 102 Ratings

Silicon Valley has a solution for everything, but who do its ideas really serve? Every Thursday, Paris Marx is joined by a new guest to critically examine the tech industry, its thought leaders, and the worldview it spreads. They challenge the notion that tech alone can drive our world forward by showing that separating tech from politics has consequences for us all, especially the most vulnerable. But if tech won't save us, what will? This podcast isn't simply about tearing tech down; it also presents radical ideas for tech designed for human flourishing instead of surveillance, acquisitions, or to boost stock prices. A better world is possible, and so is better technology.

    Don’t Give Surveillance for Christmas w/ Chris Gilliard

    Don’t Give Surveillance for Christmas w/ Chris Gilliard

    Paris Marx is joined by Chris Gilliard to discuss the ethics of tech media recommending surveillance devices, aspects of “smart” technologies you might not have considered, and why we should think twice about surrounding ourselves with cameras and microphones.

    Chris Gilliard is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center. Follow Chris on Twitter at @hypervisible.

    🚨 T-shirts are now available!

    Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Chris wrote about the history of home surveillance, and the concept of luxury surveillance with David Golumbia.Caroline Haskins went in-depth on what Ring does to communities.Health apps and fitness trackers help rich people but don’t do much for poor people.The New York Times thinks the Theranos scandal soured the media on Silicon Valley. (We don’t buy it.)US Infrastructure Bill will require monitoring systems for drunk driving in new vehicles as early as 2026.Amazon has worked to kill or undermine privacy legislation across 25 US states.In 2019, video circulated of a man talking to someone’s 8-year-old daughter after he hacked the Ring camera in her bedroom.In the US, wage theft matches all other property theft combined, but the media sensationalizes shoplifting while ignoring wage theft.Chris recommended people read Simone Brown’s Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness.The Wirecutter Union is asking people not to visit the website from November 25-29.Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)

    • 57 min
    Net-Zero Uses Technofixes to Delay Climate Action w/ Sabrina Fernandes

    Net-Zero Uses Technofixes to Delay Climate Action w/ Sabrina Fernandes

    Paris Marx is joined by Sabrina Fernandes to discuss what came out of COP26, what it actually means to have net-zero emissions by 2050, and all the mechanisms that countries are developing to delay necessary action to reduce emissions.

    Sabrina Fernandes is an IRGAC postdoctoral fellow at Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. She’s the producer of Tese Onze and a contributing editor at Jacobin. Follow Sabrina on Twitter at @safbf.

    🚨 T-shirts are now available!

    Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Sabrina and Claudia Horn wrote about COP26 and what Brazil’s far-right government was up to at the conference.Paris wrote about why Elon Musk won’t save us from the climate crisis.The International Rights of Nature Tribunal has a resource on the false solutions to the climate crisis.Melissa Moreano and Juliane Schumacher wrote about REDD+ and the discourse around forests at COP26.Daniel Aldana Cohen worked on the Green New Deal for Public Housing.COP26 agreed on the Glasgow Climate Pact, but pledges would still result in 2.4º of warming.Climate scientists say net-zero is about “a need to protect business as usual, not the climate.”Jeff Bezos should cut Amazon emissions, not focus on forests.Amazon’s emissions increased by 15% in 2019 and 19% in 2020.Painting the street white causes people to absorb the heat that streets aren’t.Juice Media did good videos on the problems with net-zero and carbon capture.Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)

    • 58 min
    How Amazon is Changing the Books We Read w/ Mark McGurl

    How Amazon is Changing the Books We Read w/ Mark McGurl

    Paris Marx is joined by Mark McGurl to discuss how Amazon is reshaping the publishing industry and altering the form of the novel itself.

    Mark McGurl is a Professor of Literature at Stanford University. He’s also the author of The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing and Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon. Follow Mark on Twitter at @markjamesmcgurl.

    🚨 T-shirts are now available!

    Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Jeff Bezos’ valedictorian speech was about space colonization.Paris wrote about Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s early days.US publishers, authors, and booksellers have written to Congress about Amazon’s effective monopolization of book sales, with more than 50% of the US book market.Jane Friedman explains how Amazon shut down many of its writer-oriented programs, makes exclusivity hard to avoid, and dominates Kindle charts.Novels and authors mentioned: Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You, Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, Rachel Cusk, and Ben Lerner.Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)

    • 49 min
    Why the Metaverse Must Be Stopped w/ Brian Merchant

    Why the Metaverse Must Be Stopped w/ Brian Merchant

    Paris Marx is joined by Brian Merchant to discuss Mark Zuckerberg’s big plans for the metaverse, everything that’s wrong with it, the concept’s scifi origins, and why Silicon Valley is desperate to make it happen.

    Brian Merchant is the author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone and Blood in the Machine, coming in 2022. Follow Brian on Twitter at @bcmerchant.

    🚨 T-shirts are now available!

    Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Brian wrote about the dystopian origins of the metaverse for Motherboard and why Silicon Valley wants it to succeed for The Atlantic.Paris wrote about how the metaverse is a way to get us to spend more time and money in digital spaces for Business Insider.Matthew Ball made the business case for the metaverse last year.Apple’s changes to iOS privacy settings cost Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat an estimated $9.85 billion in revenue.Emails sent by Oculus CEO Jason Rubin in 2018 asserted that consumers want the metaverse (something that’s not at all clear).David Karpf wrote about how VR keeps failing and getting revived for Wired.Apple’s AR headset or glasses are supposedly coming in 2022.Microsoft is trying to get in on the metaverse with workplace applications of its own.Brian hosted a series for Motherboard about the themes of Dune.Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Can Nostalgia Inspire a Better Future? w/ Grafton Tanner

    Can Nostalgia Inspire a Better Future? w/ Grafton Tanner

    Paris Marx is joined by Grafton Tanner to discuss how social and environmental crises fuel nostalgia, how companies profit from it, and whether it can be reoriented to inspire a better future.

    Grafton Tanner is the author of “The Hours Have Lost Their Clock: The Politics of Nostalgia” from Repeater Books. Follow Grafton on Twitter at @GraftonTanner.

    🚨 T-shirts are now available!

    Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Paris reviewed Grafton’s book in Jacobin.TikTok has already gone through a phase of nostalgia for the early pandemic and its lockdowns.Malls have been closing for years, but many people have nostalgia for their heyday.In 1996, Jennifer Light compared emerging digital spaces to shopping malls.Matthew Ball wrote one of the key essays on what the metaverse should look like (from a corporate perspective).A message mentioned in the opening crawl of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was broadcast exclusively in Fortnite.When Amazon bought MGM, it said it wanted to redevelop much of its accumulated intellectual property.At the end of the 2010s, some people questioned what algorithms were doing to our sense of time.The internet doesn’t get properly preserved and its history is being permanently lost.Tim Maughan wrote about how the world is too complex.Nishant Shahani’s “Queer Retrosexualities: The Politics of Reparative Return” and Badia Ahad-Legardy’s “Afro-Nostalgia: Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture.”Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)

    • 54 min
    What Gig Work Means for Women in India w/ Noopur Raval

    What Gig Work Means for Women in India w/ Noopur Raval

    Paris Marx is joined by Noopur Raval to discuss India’s gig economy, the specific conditions of women who provide services through beauty and wellness apps, and how workers organize to improve their conditions.

    Noopur Raval is a postdoctoral research fellow at the AI Now Institute at New York University. Follow Noopur on Twitter at @tetisheri.

    🚨 T-shirts are now available!

    Tech Won’t Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter, support the show on Patreon, and sign up for the weekly newsletter.

    Find out more about Harbinger Media Network at harbingermedianetwork.com.

    Also mentioned in this episode:
    Noopur wrote about organizing in the gig economy and the conditions of workers in beauty and wellness.Julia Ticona and her colleagues wrote about tech’s impacts on domestic work.More than 100 women who worked through a beauty app recently went on strike outside the company’s office.Aditi Surie has written about platforms and informal work in India.Support the show (https://patreon.com/techwontsaveus)

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

Milele ,

In-depth and insightful episodes

I love going deep on issues to really understand the nuance, so I’m enjoying this podcast a great deal. Usually the host Paris Marx has a very well-informed guest and asks good questions, but I also really enjoyed the recent episode where he was the expert and so instead of interviewing, he just dove into the topic (billionaire space race).

End User and Reviewer ,

Irreplaceable and essential listening for the 21st century

Paris runs an extremely informative and insightful show, and I have him to thank for bringing to light numerous problems with our blind trust in technology and its developers. An earnest listener will truly be more enlightened by the interviews, discussions, even Paris’ own monologues on the show. I was shocked by how many dogmatic beliefs about tech which I’d accepted as true without scrutiny.

If there’s one point preventing me from a full five points, it’s occasional drifting from the central topic of the show and moving into social advocacy which doesn’t directly relate to the problems of technology in our lives. This only happened in a few episodes which I can recall, and perhaps the argument would be that such causes match the show in theme, but certainly not in topic.

therealonehandclap ,

Best tech pod out there

The left needed a good tech pod. Here it is

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